Weather or Not: Last month of summer

WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer

Cheers to a wonderful Fourth of July. It wasn’t our hottest one (101 degrees in 2012), it wasn’t our coolest one (only a high of 58 degrees in 1967) and it wasn’t our rainiest one (2.27 inches in 1900). We could use a long break from the rain. Then there is the heat and humidity. Ugh.

I hope I don’t fall over backward when I see my next electric bill. My air conditioner has been running non-stop for several days. Whenever I get upset about the heat, I think back to January 30 when we started the day at -28 degrees. Whenever the humid air starts to get me down, I think back to the monthly record 39 inches of snow we had to clear away in February. And when I grimace at the thought of more rain on the way, I think back to the 9.8 inches of snow we added in April. I instantly quit complaining.

We have been waiting for the feel of summer for quite some time. Soak it up…we will be complaining about the cold again soon enough.

July is such a wonderful month in the St. Croix Valley. I have so many memories of times on and along the St. Croix River. We used to bike down to the river from Croixwood when we were kids just to have a blast on a rope swing that someone put up along the shoreline. Other days we head north and just paddled around in canoes. Eventually we were spending time on boats cruising from Stillwater to Hudson and back. I remember shopping at Outfitters. Then we were dancing at Steamers in the Freight House. And it was always fun to see folks that weren’t from Stillwater come and have fun at our big summer festival … Lumberjack Days!

Downtown Stillwater will come alive from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21. Log rolling, pony rides, a pancake breakfast, the beer garden, the awesome parade and of course the live music. I remember having a blast at a Soul Asylum concert years back. And I plan to have another great time when they rock the riverfront park on Saturday night. Head on down and make some wonderful memories.

I really hope the weather is pleasant on Saturday, July 27 for the Inaugural St. Croix Crossing Half Marathon. Have you walked out onto the new river bridge? The view is incredible. I’ve driven across it a few times, but I’ve never run across the bridge. That is not going to change with me, but many others who are actually in shape will do so on what I hope becomes an annual tradition.

By next Thursday, the sun will set before 9 p.m. again. That doesn’t mean summer is over. Far from it. I will continue to celebrate my favorite month by firing up the grill, gathering with friends at an outdoor patio, playing outside without having to layer up and watching people loving life in our glorious little slice of the world.

Stillwater native Chris Shaffer is WCCO’s chief meteorologist.

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